Car Crash Claims Involving Stolen Vehicles
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January 22, 2021
Does car insurance follow the car or the driver?
This is an important question if you were injured in a crash caused by someone who was driving a stolen vehicle. These claims are not going to proceed in the same way as claims involving vehicles that were not stolen.
This is also something you can discuss with a Phoenix auto accident lawyer from Phillips Law Group in a free consultation. At our firm, the goal is to help you recover maximum compensation to help you make the best recovery possible after your accident.
You should not trust the insurance company to look out for your best interests. They are concerned with their profits, not your compensation.
Who is Financially Liable for a Crash in a Stolen Vehicle?
In Arizona, car insurance generally follows the car. That means if you or someone listed on your policy was driving your car, and you or this other person caused the crash, your insurance policy would cover the victim’s damages. If someone not listed on your policy was driving your car, but they had your permission to do so, the insurance policy would also apply. However, if someone drove your car without your permission, your insurance probably would not apply.
If a car gets stolen, the driver obviously does not have permission to drive it. That means the insurance on the car would not apply. If someone steals your car and causes a crash, it is unlikely you would be financially liable for the damages caused.
How do You Seek Compensation if the Other Driver is at Fault?
If the other car was stolen, there is a high probability the driver will flee the scene. (If this happens, you should not pursue the driver, as he or she may be dangerous.) He or she is likely facing criminal charges for stealing the car. In this case, the crash is a hit-and-run, which means you would likely need to pursue compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage.
If you purchased collision coverage and/or medical payments coverage, you may also be able to use this coverage for your damages.
What about Filing a Lawsuit?
Unlike some states, Arizona does not restrict your ability to file a lawsuit after a car crash. However, most claims are resolved by pursuing a settlement from an insurance company. Even if the driver who stole the car stops at the scene, or if he or she is located by police, he or she probably will not have enough assets to cover your damages.
What if the Owner of the Car is Claiming the Vehicle was Stolen?
It is possible the car is not considered stolen for insurance purposes. If the owner left the keys somewhere, he or she knew the “thief” would find them, the car may not be considered stolen. This is particularly true if the owner knew the “thief” had a history of using cars in this way. It may be worth it to attempt to file a claim with the owner’s insurance company in case the vehicle is not considered stolen.
Filing a claim after a crash involving a stolen vehicle can be complex. You need someone in your corner focused on your best interests. The crash was not your fault and you need compensation to pay for medical treatment and other damages.
Phillips Law is Ready to Help. Call Us Today
You may be eligible for compensation for your damages. Phillips Law Group has many years of combined experience pursuing compensation from insurance companies. We have the resources to thoroughly investigate claims and build strong cases. We are also prepared to go to court if necessary.
Call Phillips Law Group today to set up your free consultation. There is no obligation to hire our firm and no upfront fee.
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